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The importance of the Review

We welcome the Government’s Review of the Gambling Act 2005. Since the Act came into force 15 years ago, the gambling industry has undergone significant change and is very different to the one that existed during the passage of the Act. We now see an industry that before the COVID-19 pandemic was generating over £10 billion in Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) annually, and an online sector that was already larger than premises-based gambling.

Against that, our regulation of gambling has continually evolved to meet the fast-changing and increasingly complex nature of the sector. Yet critically, the Gambling Commission’s three core priorities as set by our licence objectives remain as important now as they did then:

  • to keep crime out of gambling
  • ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly
  • protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

In recent years the Commission has continually strengthened regulation to protect consumers and increase compliance with the licensing objectives. We have systematically ramped up our compliance and enforcement action. Since 2017 and 2018, we have issued over £100 million of penalty packages and revoked 10 operator licences. During that time we have also:

  • successfully introduced a ban on gambling with credit cards
  • strengthened age and identity verification controls
  • introduced strict new guidance for so-called 'VIP schemes', leading to an estimated 90 percent reduction in customers signed up to them
  • worked with industry to ensure ad-tech online is used to protect children, young people and people in vulnerable circumstances
  • worked with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address unfair terms and misleading practices in relation to promotional offers and customer withdrawals
  • introduced strong new rules for online slots on game speed and features which increase the intensity of gaming
  • supported consumers in effective decision-making by banning the use of functionality to reverse withdrawals.

Under the current legislation, we have continued to make gambling in Great Britain fairer and safer. However, the Review of the Act creates a rare and important opportunity to build on that progress and ensure that the regulatory system is equipped for current and future challenges.

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Advice to Government - Review of the Gambling Act 2005
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